With the recents problems that Runescape has had over Player vs Player (PvP) content or what we used to call Player Killing (Pking), I thought I would look back and identify what we used to love about Runescape pking. Who knows, this might help players think of better pvp ideas.
Parts 1 and 2 deal with basic things for those who have never experienced Runescape Classic pking so those who already know about it can skip that and go straight to part 3 for my analysis and commentary.
In Rsc there were two eras of pking : Pk Everywhere and Wilderness Pking
At first there were two types of players Player Killers (Pkers) and non-Player Killers. Pkers are those who can be attacked by other pkers who are within three (was it four? lol) levels of their own, except in certain safe areas such as inside towns.
In the picture (click on it to see a bigger picture), you can see a big war in the Barbarian Village with pkers and non-pk spectators. In the background is a forum post about the war.
If a player did not want to be attacked by others, he simply toggled off his pk option and no one would be able to attack him. However, you could only toggle this twice. So if you switched to pk then panicked and switched back to non-pk (normally while being attacked and dying to a pker), you would be stuck in non-pk forever.
This is probably the original reason why people made separate skiller and pker characters in Rs. Obviously, if you were doing skills like mining or crafting, you wouldn't like to be pked so it would be good to skill on a non-pk char while making another char that was a pker so as to enjoy competing with other players.
Since there were also level requirements regarding who you were able to attack, players made not just one pker but several of different levels.
Note that when players died in RSC, they drop their items and these are looted by the pkers.
Not everyone was really happy with the Pk system so Jagex proposed a new and improved PK experience: the Wilderness. A player poll was made and the RS players voted to remove the old system and make the wilderness.
Simply put, now pking was limited to an area, not a type of character. Any player now could bring their character to the new place, called the wilderness and pk there. All non-wilderness areas were now impossible to pk in.
Level requirements were still in place but in a new way. The southernmost part of the wilderness was level 1 and you could only attack players who were within 1 combat level of your character. The farther north you went, the higher the wilderness level. Therefore in this system the player was less limited and could attack people plus or minus 1 to 45-50+ (depending on whether you were in f2p or p2p) combat levels of their own character.
This removed the need for the pk and non-pk character types.
Essentials of Runescape Classic Pking
Kill and loot. The system is very basic and easy to understand. You pk and if you are lucky enough to get a kill, you get whatever your kill drops. Those who do not have a skull will lose all but their 3 best items while those who are skulled lose everything. Protect items prayer allows the player to keep 1 additional item when he dies.